Sheffield school in the snowy wilds stayed open

Snow fun: Inter-house snowball competition at Mylnhurst Preparatory School & Nursery, Ecclesall, Sheffield. Photo: Sam Cartwright
Snow fun: Inter-house snowball competition at Mylnhurst Preparatory School & Nursery, Ecclesall, Sheffield. Photo: Sam Cartwright

THE snow closed 76 out of Sheffield’s 172 schools on Monday - but one of the most remote managed to stay open.

Lessons went ahead as usual at Bradfield Dungworth Primary, which is near the Derbyshire border.

Headteacher Rachel Markham said enough staff lived locally for the school to open for children who had trudged in from local farms and villages.

“I live just three quarters of a mile away, and three of the staff live nearby, so we are able to open for those pupils who are able to make it in,” she said.

“Today we had 23 children in out of the 115 on roll, plus eight members of staff out of 20.

“Deciding whether to close a school is a difficult thing to do – some parents are upset if you close, while others aren’t happy if you don’t!

“Some of our children are never going to get in because they come from very outlying areas, but we have an advantage over urban schools because many of our staff live fairly close by.

“At other schools they are often travelling in from miles around.

“Most of our parents are happy we’re open – though I’m not sure that’s true of all the children!”

Some Sheffield schools turned the weather to their advantage by having lessons linked to the snow.

Mylnhurst Preparatory School and Nursery in Button Hill, Ecclesall, held an inter-house snowball competition.

Heavy snow across the country prompted many school closures - and the traditional debate over whether headteachers succumb too easily.

Many schools kept their doors shut after the weekend on health and safety grounds and because of teachers struggling to get to work – causing a childcare headache for working parents.

Amid Sheffield’s first serious snow of the winter, primary schools, many on snow-clogged side roads, were the worst affected with around 60 closures.

A further 26 opened late at 10am or 10.30am, to give staff and pupils more time to get in.

Secondaries were less badly hit, although 10 still closed on Monday.

They were All Saints RC, Bradfield, Fir Vale, High Storrs, King Edward VII in Broomhill, King Ecgbert in Totley, Newfield, Notre Dame RC, Silverdale, Springs Academy and Stocksbridge.

Exceptions were made to allow students to take exams, as planned.

Norfolk Park and Bents Green special schools remained shut on Tuesday, while Westways Primary in Crookes, Springfield Primary in Broomhall and Greenlands Junior School in Darnall opened at 10am.

Sheffield slowly began to return to normal after the heavy snow of Sunday night and Monday morning.

But road gritting operations continued.